CHRISTOPHER MCCOLLUM - Sunday, June 3, 2012
The U.S. will play Canada at Toronto's BMO Field in their final World Cup Qualifying warm-up tonight at 7:00pm Eastern Time.
The trio of friendlies leading into World Cup Qualifying will be wrapped up tonight against Canada, as the U.S. hopes to bounce back from a 4-1 loss to Brazil on Wednesday. The U.S. opened the trio with a convincing 5-1 dismantling of Scotland, and will look to continue that story line against the Northern Neighbors.
With Antigua & Barbuda on the horizon for next week, there is little chance that Jurgen Klinsmann will do much experimenting with his lineup. His preference of playing his starting 11 as often as possible will be unlikely to yield many roster changes, with the probable exception of Clint Dempsey being inserted into the starting lineup after confirming to the media yesterday that he is good to go.
Dempsey was subbed into the game during the second half against Brazil, making it the first time they appeared on the field together since Klinsmann took over, though they still haven't started together. The common assumption is that Dempsey will start in place of either Maurice Edu or Jose Torres.
The U.S. has not lost to Canada since 1985, a run of 14 games. Canada will hope to break this streak as they celebrate the 100th anniversary of their federation. Leading the team will be reigning MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario, and Toronto FC's Julian de Guzman. The Canadian roster sports six players from MLS, three from Germany, three from England and two from Turkey, with seven other players from teams in seven different countries countries.
Samuel Piette, the 17-year old midfielder seen by many as a bright prospect after his play in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament this past March, is the youngest player on the roster and the only one without a club. He has recently been on trial with Fortuna Dusseldorf, where he reportedly impressed enough to be an imminent signing.
The game marks a homecoming for Maurice Edu, who began his professional career with Toronto FC before moving to Rangers, and he is expecting to have many friends in the audience and on the opposing Canadian team.
The controversy surrounding Gertjan Verbeek's decision not to release Jozy Altidore early for the National Team camp continues to grow, as Klinsmann stated that Altidore is still having to play catch-up with the rest of the team, hinting that he was not in the right form to play serious minutes against Canada. Herculez Gomez remains the likely candidate to start at forward in light of this.
The game begins at 7:00pm Eastern Time. Weather is cloudy with temperatures in the upper 60s. There is a chance of rain later in the day.